their activities optimally. Primary elements here are health, welfare, communication
and quality of life.
character of the spatial environment. The cultural function involves aesthetic,
architectonic, urban design, planning and environmental factors. Culture also
includes the notion of civilization, one of whose implications are that buildings
and the activities they accommodate should not be nuisance or cause damage to
The architecture critics Hillier and Leaman (1976) also distinguish four main
functions of a building, but divide them up differently:
A building needs to provide optimum support for the activities desired by properly
arranging the available space: for example, by sitting related activities next to one
another and providing efficient communication between them, and by separating
activities that are likely to conflict with one another.
A building must provide an optimum interior climate for the user, his activities and
his property. This necessitates a protective ‘filter’, separating the inside from
the outside, and efficient plant. Inside the building, elements which separate
and connect and the equipment of the different rooms must make it possible to
adjust the interior climate of each room to suit its own particular use.
A building requires investment. It gives added value to raw materials.
Maintenance and management form part of the exploitation cost, and must be
set against income from rental or sale. It follows that a building, whether property
or an investment object, has economic value and so an economic function.
The first functions named in the above lists can be summarized as utility functions.
The last two functions refer to cultural functions.
This division correspond closely to the functions distinguished by the architect Nordberg-Schulz (1965). A building creates an artificial climate, protecting people against the influence of weather, insects, wild animals, enemies and other environmental hazards. The Building also provides a functional framework, within which human activities can be carried out.
These activities are socially determined, and so give buildings a social meaning. A building can also represent something cultural – perhaps something religious or philosophical. Nordberg-Schulz refers to the combination